“How Can You Help Me in Just 4 Days?”

We hear this question all of the time, which isn’t surprising given that almost everyone has been brainwashed into the “you have to go away for 30, 60 or even 90 days!”

A better question might be, if people go off to rehab for a month or two, why is the “success” rate only 5-10%, if that?

But, skipping that, and getting back to your original question, our clients do much better because we focus on one client at a time, we specialize in alcohol related problems, we do what works (CBT, assertiveness training, diet and exercise considerations, habit breaking and formation, anxiety reduction, and so on) and everything we do is tailored specifically to you. No 85 year old, one-size-fits-all cult.

And it’s not just four days – that’s the initial intensive portion, 2-3 hours a day for 4 days with both Mary Ellen and me, to create a foundation for whatever continuing sessions you decide are needed or wanted. The basic program also includes the first four follow-up sessions and you are welcome to add more.

Consider this comparison: in the first 4 sessions you will spend 8 – 10 hours with two professionals and we will focus exclusively on you and your situation. In most 30 day programs you would, at most, have four individual 45 minute sessions with a para-professional whose only job is to reinforce the 12- Step brainwashing that constitutes the entire program. 10 hours of research and experience based sessions or a total of 3 hours of being demeaned, dehumanized, and degraded. Which do you suppose will work better for you?

That summary doesn’t include the confidentiality we provide to every client. Remember, residential rehab is never confidential, AA is not confidential, insurance payments are not confidential, groups of any kind are not confidential. Simply disappearing for 30 days is enough to reveal your drinking problem though it will create many more problems (financial, professional, familial) than it will ever solve, even if it worked, which it doesn’t unless you fall into that adolescent sub-group who need a cult.

We are, as many clients have noted, the “all substance, no filler” program. Substance? Filler? As usual – it’s your choice.

Yes, 2020 was a Long Year

And 2021 isn’t getting off to a lightening start either. Snafus with the vaccine rollout; super-spreader events hosted by the most heedless and uncaring among us; political turmoil; and willful ignorance run amok. Geez.

On the other hand, there are now vaccines that will get to us eventually, which is a lot brighter road ahead than we’ve had in about a year. The trick now is to keep your heads down long enough for the vaccine’s immunity to spread and some semblance of normalcy to return. That did happen 100 years ago – it will again.

My point?

How can we use the time between now and the 4th of July to prepare for a return to activities and events that have – or should have – been on hold for the past 10 months? Not forgetting staying alive through the worst of the pandemic – one which is killing us at a rate surpassing the casualty lists following D-Day in 1944?

Everyone is tired of hearing “Mask on!” “Distance!” “Stay Home!” but it’s still good advice. Covid is not a hoax – nor is it just the flu – and the hospitals and morgues in every state in the country aren’t lying.

So, it’s going to be a rough, tough, nerve racking 4 to 5 months, maybe 6, and celebrations are premature – as well as deadly as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years have amply demonstrated.

On the other hand, these months are just about the right amount of time to adjust your self-medicating, address the issues you’ve been avoiding since before Covid and/or acquired since. Let’s be realistic – when are you going to have a better opportunity to focus on what you’ve been avoiding so you find yourself unburdened by bad old habits as you work your way into enjoying new or revisited ones?

You have time to explore, reflect, adjust and practice. Not an opportunity many of us get during adulthood, but perhaps one that gives us something to take away from the pandemic with gratitude instead of just curing and drinking and emerging this fall to find ourselves even worse off than the virus made us.

So, again, it’s back to choices. Use the time productively, destructively, or just grudgingly put it in with no benefit. And, you don’t have to be perfect – just get started. Please.